Which Naim amp to drive Neat MFS at a budget…

Dear Naim Community,
Am a Frankfurt-based Naim and Neat fan for around 15 years by now. I started my journey with a Uniti 1 and Elite SX and had been happy for almost 10 years, then moved from Vienna (back) to Frankfurt and could create the music-room of my dreams. I am collecting receivers and turntables from the late 70s/early 80s, but to be honest, mainly for the looks… Here comes my need for advice: Recently I could get ahold of a mint 2nd hand pair of Neat MFS. I source it by a NDX and Sansui SR-333 turntable with a Ortofon Quintet Red MC via AVM30 P30 phono stage, current amp is a Nait 5si. To be fair, biggest step-up performance wise was the intro of the AVM phono-stage (vs. a basic Pro-Ject phono stage, then Graham Slee (at the time only MM cartridges used) or compared to some of the vintage receivers with built-in phono-stage). Now comes the obvious question: for the money I am currently able and willing to spend I could go for a used SN2 or a new XS3. Am aware that there is a potential upgrade path, but that would be 3-5 years down the road… Assumption is that I would be better off straight away with the SN2, considering that I am happy with the TT setup and AVM phono-stage. Anyone here having a view on the better match with the Neat MFSs? Looking for advice for both, immediate improvement but also longer-run upgrade potential… Many thanks in advance, Michael

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Hi Michael

I believe it would better going straight to the SN2 as a minimum

From my understanding they are 88db into 6 ohms but I might be wrong so they a bit of grunt

However with your front end CD player it might show up some issues overall , (maybe overall not balanced) , you may require a CD player higher up the naim tree, they do come up from time to time but now need to be careful re laser replacement and other parts

Only way to find out is try the sn2 and cd with the MFS’

I have the ultimatum XLS’s - love them

Regards

Bevan

Sorry Michael read wrong you have NDX so might be OK re front end . TT maybe not

Bevan

Hi

Firstly, welcome to the Naim community!

I actually owned the Neat MFS for some years and they can work very well with Naim and provide a great level of scale and the high frequency tweeters on the top can provide a good level of “air” to the musical experience.

However I found them quite a difficult speaker to drive. I initially had them being driven by a NAP 250 (non DR). It was clear to me that they needed a much more muscular power amp to perform at their best.

So I upgraded to a NAP 500 (non DR) which worked far better with the Neat MFS. This amp really did “grip” and control the MFS far better.

I think the issue with some speaker brands is that they radiate too much sound around the room and need room treatment to tame this issue. This I did find with the Neat MFS. So eventually I replaced them with Naim DBL speakers which I found were far more room friendly.

If you are on a limited budget you may find that you may need to buy a non Naim muscular amp to control the MFS.

Good luck in getting the most out of your Neat MFS, I think you have bought a good speaker but it may take a bit of trial and error with better amplification to get the best out of them.

As for possible non Naim amps that can drive and control the MFS you may wish to contact Neat manufacturers directly for possible ideas. They are a small company but very friendly and helpful. They will have better experience than me in this respect.

Best wishes.

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Hi Bevan.
Indeed, TT is the weak spot, already on my way to sth more advanced, but for sure still sth late 70s…
SN2 seems to be the right direction, MFS might still be somewhat underpowered…
Kr, Michael

Hi,
Wow, DR500, well, by far out of reach. Was in touch with Stephen O from Neat regards another topic and yes, great people there, very helpful. Will check what they say regards „more budget friendly amplification than Naim“…
Kr, Michael

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Don’t let some of us scare you, @kveite more power will typically drive most standmount speakers betten (if not any) … give Bob from Neat a call or drop him an email. He is very helpful indeed!

The MFS is a a lot of speaker to have on the end of a NAIT 5Si - probably too much, however, my main concern is with the Sansui SR-333. It was a nice enough looking deck of its time and its type, but totally outclassed by everything else in the system. Even a basic Rega would improve on it. I would keep the Elite SX speakers (very nice) and instead put the money towards a much better turntable. You may be happy with the SR-333 but improving on it may make you ecstatic…

Hi. I currently have my hands on an Audio Linear TD 4001 with a Helios Scorpio arm. I have a crush on those 80s turntables… Had a Rega P5 at the time when I had the Elite SX. But was retrospectively just stupid to sell making various sidemoves since. Lesson learnt. Would like to stay with the MFSs, amplification-wise I currently look into Marantz Model 30 and Unison Unico Due…

Too late, already scared… Already dropped a mail to Neat, curious what they will come up with…

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Bit late to response - agree entirely with you’re thinking Richard

Having the ultimatum XLS which is the forerunner of the MLS I’m thinking the more is required in the source and probably the SN2

All a bit unbalanced to me and as a start maybe “lesser” speakers down the neat range is the best plan of attack

I’ve heard the XL10 powered by a 250 and it was fine, very musical. I imagine a SN3 will be okay but I have Kudos 505 which I guess is an equivalence of the XLS with a 250 which works fine. Hope this helps.

My naim dealer powers the Neat XL10’s with a minimum of nap 300 and even better with nap 500

Despite the reasonable sensitivity of neat speakers they still require a bit of grunt going through them for best results

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Plan B would indeed be to audition Ministras and step out of my amplification thoughts. Though I never was into ribbon type high-ends…

Yeah all about getting optimum results. I’m sure my 505s would improve with a 300 or even 500.

Funny you should mention that kveite

I actually run a pair of neat ministra’s with the SN3

It is a sensational combination I can assure you of that , the ministra’s are reasonably sensitive but SN3 drives them to perfection in my room

Something about those ribbon tweeters that get me, but some people don’t like them so up to individual

Worth an audition in my opinion

Mine are driven by a 250DR and I am very happy with them.

Will definitely try the Ministras by home-demo. Had a half-hour listen-in at local dealer and compared to Neat Petite 30s. The 30s, to my surprise, were not what I expected (run a pair of Petite/Continentals in my bedroom and love them)… Later I was told those were just shipped and most likely not well run in.
Now comes a new direction on top:
Just spoke to another dealer and he recommend Bryston integrateds (sth 60R or so) which they pair a lot with slightly more difficult to drive speakers.
Well, many different views…
Will work down my list of options…

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Only you can decide, listen with your own ears and in your own living room :smiley:

I used MFS for many years and found a NAP300 was required to really bring them to life.

MFS seem to benefit from space around them, they don’t play so well too close to boundaries. Also, the dedicated stands are are all but essential to get the best from them.

Properly set up, the 300 and MFS are a fantastic pairing, easily end game. To control the budget, don’t think you need to spend the extra for DR, MFS are superb with a standard 300 - I ran that pair very happily long before DR was a twinkle in Naim’s eye!

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